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Acta Médica Costarricense

On-line version ISSN 0001-6002Print version ISSN 0001-6012


CHAN-CHENG, Henry Chinhong; MONGE-RODRIGUEZ, Silvia Leticia  and  ESPINOZA-MORA, María del Rosario. Chronic immunological activation in the pathogenesis of human immunodeficiency virus. Acta méd. costarric [online]. 2017, vol.59, n.1, pp.7-14. ISSN 0001-6002.

Background and purpose:

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) induces chronic immune activation that leads to the worsening of HIV infection. Studies in primates have shown the development of pathological retroviral infection by immune system’s response against the virus and its cytopathic properties. This review summarizes current facts about the main mechanisms of HIV chronic immune activation and its virus-related impairment on immunity.


The references were obtained in the PubMed database, under the keywords: “immunopathology and HIV” and “immune activation and HIV”. Also, all papers reviewed are in English and were published between 1990 and 2016.


Discussion of the persistent inflammation that establish the development of HIV disease and pathological conditions not directly related to HIV infection. Therefore, the treatments aimed to modulate inflammation could slow the disease progression and minimize collateral damage from HIV immune stimulation.


Evidence suggests that chronic immune activation is the major cause of CD4+ T-cell depletion, loss of virus-specific immunity and the establishment of diseases not directly related to viral infection in patients on antiretroviral treatment.

Keywords : HIV; immune activation; chronic inflammation; virus specific immunity.

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